YOUNG-at-heart 61-year-old Beverley Holland has sent out a defiant message to the hundreds of employers who would not even give her an interview for a job.
“You don’t know what you’re missing,” she said, after successfully launching her own domestic services business, Helping Hand.
Ms Holland had an extensive CV, having worked on reception at places like the Bolton headquarters of Reebok in Silverwell Street — before it moved out of town — and a string of temporary assignments while working for the Forrest agency.
However, when her father died and her mother started suffering from dementia, Ms Holland, of Fourth Avenue, Heaton, became a full-time carer.
It was after her mother died that Ms Holland’s “soul destroying” visits to Bolton Job Centre began.
She does not reach statutory retirement age until she is 64 and is determined not to use savings she has accumulated for her retirement before then.
“Regardless of the anti-ageism legislation, I am convinced there are numerous employers in Bolton who looked at the decade I was born in — the 1950s — and automatically dismissed any thought of giving me a chance,” said the mother of two adult children, who has a psychology degree from the University of Bolton after studying as a mature student.
“We keep being told by the government we are living longer and we all have to work longer, but this is impossible with the mindset so many employers have.
“They don’t even give you a chance.
“They don’t realise they are missing out on the talent and work ethic that many of us have.”
Ms Holland said she understood that it may look odd that there was a 10-year gap in her CV while she took time out from the working environment to care for her mother.
“But while caring for my mother, I was dealing with professionals from the NHS, Social Services, the financial sector and the Department of Work and Pensions,” she said.
“It was like doing a full-time job. But unless you can get in front of people in an interview situation, it is impossible to get this across.
“Everything is being done online, and employers don’t want to see you.
“The queue for the use of computers at Bolton Library is frightening. Ms Holland says she became so fed up with being rejected, she had 1,000 leaflets for the Helping Hand business run off and delivered them to affluent homes in the Heaton area.
“Now I have a really good client base,” Ms Holland, who includes dog walking, ironing, cleaning, and a wait-in service for deliveries, among her offers.
She also offers a weekly or monthly house clean, after-party cleaning, a moving house clean, and plant watering.